Ludacris, Demi Lovato, Backstreet Boys and Jason Derulo will all appear on YouTube's new competition series "Best.Song.Ever" where winners compete to duet on cover songs with established artists which will premiere on YouTube.
The series, which is slated for later this year, is produced by Ryan Seacrest Productions and Endemol Shine North America. The new show will announce other participating artists in coming weeks.
Each episode will be hosted by Atlanta's own Ludacris and will feature different superstar artists who will challenge musicians to perform a cover of one of their songs. Lovato, Derulo and BSB will kickoff the first submission phase, which begins today (April 26) and lasts through May 19.
Fans are encouraged to cover specific hits by these artists, including: "As Long As You Love Me" (Backstreet Boys), "Confident" (Demi Lovato) and "Trumpets" (Jason Derulo). In advance, each artist will create a video encouraging aspiring contestants to submit their cover versions online (see Derulo's below).
Fans can upload their video, follow submissions, and watch the series by subscribing to the Best.Cover.Ever. channel on YouTube, and can learn more by going to TheBestCoverEver.com
"Best.Cover.Ever. will encourage these artists to go for their dreams alongside the best in the business," said Susanne Daniels, Youtube's global head of original content, in a statement. "We're thrilled that Ryan Seacrest will give new talent the opportunity to shine in front of over 1 billion fans around the world."
For YouTube, the series showcases the platform's unique ability to discover new - something Justin Bieber, Tori Kelly, Pentatonix, Andra Day and Alessia Cara among many others can attest to.
What the show doesn't do, however, is address the music industry's frustration with YouTube's "value gap," which is the term the business uses to summarize the video platform's inadequate compensation for artists and others in the industry for their work.*
According to the IFPI's new Global Music Business Report 2017, user-uploaded video streaming services operating under safe harbor legislation returned $553 million to rights holders in 2016 from a global audience of over 900 million users. The disparity between that return and the $3.9 billion that rights holders received globally from streaming services in the same 12 month period is enormous-- especially considering that streaming has far lower user base of around 200 million.
*Following publication of this article a YouTube rep requested we include the following statement: "YouTube has paid over $1 billion to the music industry in the last 12 months just from advertising alone."